The craftsmanship in the clothing is right up CraftCourses' street. The imagination and creativity, on a par with any couture designer of today, is perfectly aligned with the appreciation of colour, texture, and vibrancy that we, along with our entire community of makers and students, have in bucket loads. Little wonder that we're avidly awaiting the next big drama! And don't forget the little details, the copper plate in handwritten notes (ah! Lady Whistledown I presume?) the stunning floral arrangements, the creak of a leather saddle, and tinkling glassware. All conspire to paint a glorious picture to revel in.
We may be consummate couch potatoes, binge-watching our favourites via the many streaming services now available (whatever happened to the interminable wait for the next episode?), but there are some media psychology experts who actually believe there are positive psychological benefits to watching historical drama including improved mental health, social connections and listening skills. Period dramas are about people and the human connection, from love stories to comrades in arms.
“They allow us to experience extremes of emotion without the existential threat.”
“These stories are like a flight simulator for life…they show us ways of ‘being’ through universal themes of love, betrayal, redemption, innocence, justice, sacrifice, transformation.”
Dr. Pamela B. Rutledge
The archetypal characters of hero, partner, villain, lover, ingenue, and muse along with a good story, allow the viewer to be transported into the narrative, experiencing the story from within. Identification with the characters enables a level of emotional engagement that may be missing from watching a crime thriller or epic action movie. Although set in earlier times, there are parallels to be drawn between these earlier versions of ourselves: the relatively ordinary folk of yesterday. This said with tongue in cheek! After all, the 'little cottage' that is the new home for the penniless Dashwood mother and daughters in Sense & Sensibility, is a mansion by today's standards. A parallel but a slightly wrinkled one!!
Not content with simply watching the compelling lives of the past, many fans take part in reenacting them - dress ups if you will! Events such as the Jane Austen Festival in Hampshire, the Tewkesbury Medieval Festival, or the Napoleonic Living History Festival at Whittington Castle, clearly demonstrate our enduring fondness for donning the historical dress closest to our hearts. As appreciative as we are of our new fangled lives and wardrobes, we can't resist tapping into our inner Elizabeth Bennett or Mr. Darcy and stepping out in style!
“From the very beginning—from the first moment, I may almost say—of my acquaintance with you, your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish distain of the feelings of others, were such as to form the groundwork of the disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike; and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world on whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.” Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
...and if a good book is more you, here are some classics to re-discover and re-love:
Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice
Winston Graham, Poldark
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë